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  • Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies

    2012

  • AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies 2012 | 1

    First published in 2002

    by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

    Second edition published in 2010

    by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

    Revised second edition 2012

    by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

    Published by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

    GPO Box 553

    Canberra ACT 2601

    Tel: (02) 6246 1111

    Fax: (02) 6261 4285

    www.aiatsis.gov.au

    Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies 2012

    ISBN 9780987135360

    This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be

    reproduced by any process without written permission from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and

    Torres Strait Islander Studies.

    The Institute logo is taken from a Gu:na:ni (Kunjen) shield from the Mitchell River region, Gulf of

    Carpentaria. The shield was purchased by Ursula McConnel in the early 1930s on behalf of the Australian

    National Research Council and is now part of the AIATSIS collection.

    Cataloguing-in-Publication details are available from the National Library of Australia

    www.trove.nla.gov.au

    http://www.trove.nla.gov.au/

  • AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies 2012 | 2

    Contents

    Introduction ................................................................................................................... 3

    Principles of ethical research ...................................................................................... 3

    Principle 1 Recognition of the diversity and uniqueness of peoples, as well as of

    individuals, is essential. 4

    Principle 2 The rights of Indigenous peoples to selfdetermination must be

    recognised. 5

    Principle 3 The rights of Indigenous peoples to their intangible heritage must be

    recognised. 5

    Principle 4 Rights in the traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions

    of Indigenous peoples must be respected, protected and maintained. 6

    Principle 5 Indigenous knowledge, practices and innovations must be respected,

    protected and maintained. 7

    Principle 6 Consultation, negotiation and free, prior and informed consent are

    the foundations for research with or about Indigenous peoples. 9

    Principle 7 Responsibility for consultation and negotiation is ongoing. 10

    Principle 8 Consultation and negotiation should achieve mutual understanding

    about the proposed research. 11

    Principle 9 Negotiation should result in a formal agreement for the conduct of a

    research project. 12

    Principle 10 Indigenous people have the right to full participation appropriate

    to their skills and experiences in research projects and processes. 14

    Principle 11 Indigenous people involved in research, or who may be affected by

    research, should benefit from, and not be disadvantaged by, the research project. 15

    Principle 12 Research outcomes should include specific results that respond

    to the needs and interests of Indigenous people. 16

    Principle 13 Plans should be agreed for managing use of, and access to,

    research results. 17

    Principle 14 Research projects should include appropriate mechanisms and

    procedures for reporting on ethical aspects of the research and complying with

    these guidelines. 18

    References ................................................................................................................... 19

  • AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies 2012 | 3

    Introduction

    Indigenous peoples have inherent rights, including the right to self-determination. The

    principles in these Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies are

    founded on respect for these rights, including rights to full and fair participation in any

    processes, projects and activities that impact on them, and the right to control and

    maintain their culture and heritage. AIATSIS considers that these principles are not only

    a matter of ethical research practice but of human rights.

    It is essential that Indigenous people are full participants in research projects that

    concern them, share an understanding of the aims and methods of the research, and

    share the results of this work. At every stage, research with and about Indigenous

    peoples must be founded on a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity

    between the researcher and Indigenous people. It should also be recognised that there

    is no sharp distinction between researchers and Indigenous people. Indigenous people

    are also researchers, and all participants must be regarded as equal partners in a

    research engagement.

    This 2012 edition of the Guidelines embodies the best standards of ethical research and

    human rights. The guidelines have been revised to reflect developments in critical areas

    that have emerged since the first edition in 2000. These include changes to intellectual

    property laws, and rights in traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions,

    and the establishment of agreements and protocols between Indigenous people and

    researchers. These guidelines also take into account emerging developments in

    digitisation, and data and information management, and the very significant impacts this

    has on research and other aspects of Indigenous studies.

    These guidelines are mandatory for all research sponsored by AIATSIS. AIATSIS also

    recognises that it has responsibility as the leading institution in Australian Indigenous

    studies and that its ethics guidelines inform all research in this area.

    Principles of ethical research

    The Guidelines comprise 14 principles grouped under the broad categories of:

    rights, respect and recognition;

    negotiation, consultation, agreement and mutual understanding;

    participation, collaboration and partnership;

    benefits, outcomes and giving back;

    managing research: use, storage and access; and

    reporting and compliance.

  • AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies 2012 | 4

    Rights, respect and recognition

    Principle 1 Recognition of the diversity and uniqueness of

    peoples, as well as of individuals, is essential.

    Research in Indigenous studies must recognise the diversity of Indigenous peoples,

    including their different languages, cultures, histories and perspectives.

    It is also important to recognise the diversity of individuals and groups within

    communities.

    Applying the principle

    Recognise the diversity of individual Indigenous groups and communities and the

    implications in planning, carrying out and reporting their research.

    Recognise that Indigenous individuals or communities may have more pressing

    priorities, that may impinge on the research time frames.

    When extrapolating from research, do not generalise from understandings of one

    Indigenous community to others or to all Indigenous peoples.

    Do not apply stereotypes to communities and individuals.

    Identify diversity within a community; for example, on the basis of gender, age, religion,

    family grouping and community interest.

    Do not presume that the view of one group represents the collective view of the

    community.

    Differentiate between individual, group and / or collective rights, responsibilities and

    ownership.

    Undertake research only if it does not conflict with individuals rights, wishes or freedom.

    Respect individuals rights to participate in research and in the disposal of research

    material.

  • AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies 2012 | 5

    Principle 2 The rights of Indigenous peoples to selfdetermination

    must be recognised.

    Research projects must be conducted in accordance with the United Nations

    Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including principles of Indigenous

    peoples rights to selfdetermination and to full participation (appropriate to their skills

    and experience) in developments that impact on their lives.

    Applying the principle

    Understand the meaning of self-determination in relation to Indigenous peoples and

    their rights to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, including

    their traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and intellectual property.

    Article 3 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states, Indigenous

    peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine

    their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development

    (UN 2007).

    Principle 3 The rights of Indigenous peoples to their intangible

    heritage must be recognised.

    Research projects should be conducted in accordance with the principle of Indigenous

    peoples rights to maintain, control, protect and develop their intangible heritage,

    including their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions

    and intellectual property.

    Applying the principle

    Unde